President Jim rang the bell, we sang, pledged and Joe offered one of his wonderful graces, prompting Sue to wonder if he had been a minister in a previous life.

Lunch was the official Barre dish – chicken & mostaccioli.

Bill N. circulated the basket to collect automatic fines from the latecomers and those without badges – and he named names!

Roy gave a Rotary Foundation update, saying he added 6 bricks to the wall of donors today.  (actually he only added 5 bricks cuz he didn’t have a brick for one of the donors – but he promised to make another brick.)  He also added a $20 bill to today’s basket – the source of the funds is a rather convoluted story having to do with the Justice Center.

P. Jim passed around a couple stacks of thank you letters that came from BCEMS 3rd & 5th graders who were the recipients of our donations of dictionaries and atlases.  Club members read out some of the more inspirational and humorous letters.

Roy gave a Happy Dollar because Lucille is with us today after having spent the fall working long hours at the Rock of Ages visitors’ center.  The mention of ROA prompted Bob to give a Happy Dollar.

Roy gave another Happy Dollar cuz your scribe, Carol, is at the meeting taking these notes.

Prez Jim left the room, handing the gavel to President Elect Bill N.

Bob have a Happy Dollar for last week’s joint service club holiday dinner, which was held on Monday evening.  He said it made the parking so much easier when he showed up for the usual Wednesday Rotary meeting – only to finally remember there was no meeting in lieu of the dinner.

P. Jim came back and re-claimed the gavel.

Bill N. said Rotary International bylaws call for the election of officers at the first meeting in December, and he read off the proposed slate for 2013-2014:

President – Bill Noyes

President Elect – vacant

Vice President – vacant

Secretary – Sue Poczobut

Treasurer – Elizabeth LaPerle

Director-at-Large – Karl Rinker

Director-at-Large – vacant

Sargent-at-Arms – Ted Goulette (not an elected post, appointed by the board)

The meeting opened up for nominations from the floor.  Jack volunteered to fill the vacant Director-at-Large slot.

Carol moved to close nominations, seconded by Sue.  Motion carried.

Sue moved approval of the slate as amended, seconded by Carol.  Motion carried.

Congratulations and thanks to all those willing to serve the Club.  Please note that we still have a couple vacancies – if you are interested in serving, please talk to a board member.

Prez Jim said next week’s meeting will be our holiday luncheon, including a performance by the Rotabarrians, a story read by Carol and other food & fun.  He will send around an email so people can RSVP for a head count.

Sue gave the Secretary Report and read off the December birthdays and anniversaries:

Birthdays                                                             Anniversaries

Chip Castle                                                          Mario Bonacorsi (19 years)

Marvin Malek                                                    Karen Lane (18 years)

Shane Mispel                                                     Bill Noyes (1 year this time around, a total of 13 years)

We were so busy trying to figure out how to credit Bill N with his split years of service, that we forgot to sing.

Claire said the Thursday evening walks in downtown Barre continue.  There was discussion about making the start time earlier, and Sue will post it on FaceBook that tomorrow’s walk will start at 7:00 PM.  Claire said she is flexible, which brought the entire meeting to a screeching halt while everybody tried to wrap their head around the idea of a flexible Claire.

Ted noted Mario is not here to pay his anniversary dollar, and that he (Ted) received a photo of Mario standing next to a gas pump with gas priced at $2.96/gallon.  And the weather’s nice there, too!

P. Jim said he & Bill N. attended a membership seminar over the weekend and the Club can do most anything short of not paying due to RI.  There was a free ranging discussion about membership; meeting location, frequency & time; recruitment; etc.  Some of the ideas/thoughts shared included:

  • Changing the amount of the dues.  Currently, we pay $150/year, of which $131 goes to RI and the district.
  • Discussion of changing/varying the meeting time.
  • Discussion of changing/varying the meeting location.
  • Are there opportunities to offer different types/prices of membership?  Business membership?  Individual membership?  Family membership?
  • Like the social aspect of the meetings, and the opportunity to have lunch – don’t usually break for lunch during the workday.
  • Do we have a specific objective as a group?  What type of person are we targeting for membership?
  • Should we re-locate meetings downtown to make it more convenient for people to walk to?
  • Other costs – not just dues – are a factor in membership.
  • People are busy both during their workdays and their evenings.
  • What is our “hook” to get people involved?
  • Should we accept our limitations and what the club has become?
  • Ask people to finish the sentence “I come/belong to Rotary because…”
  • Have we talked to those who pay their dues but almost never come to meetings?
  • If we change the meeting structure, we run the risk of losing our regular attenders.  The current routine allows us to build it into our schedules.  Structure is important.
  • We have a lot of good things going on.

P. Jim said he will schedule a Rotary After Dark in January at the Quarry as a possible downtown location for meetings.

Bill N. said the discussion was helpful, as it shows club members care about the future of the club.

Claire held the winning raffle ticket, and Bill N. was closest for the 2nd chance cup.

See y’all next week for the holiday luncheon!